Q5 Combat

Is Your Training an Epic Battle or a Joyful Celebration?

This morning I saw a woman jogging alongside the road, dog in tow. She was fairly out of shape, not obese, but definitely overweight. Her form was an injury waiting to happen (probably already had) and she could have walked faster than she was jogging.

The thing that made me notice her though was her face. She was in obvious pain. Her eyes were narrow slits burning holes in the pavement ahead of her. Her mouth was a snarl. She reminded me of a slow motion battle scene from the movies – she was engaged in an epic struggle. She was running to destroy the parts of her that she didn't like. She was trying to escape from her own body, and her approach means that it’s a fight she’ll most likely lose.

This makes me sad.

We shouldn't battle our bodies, or try to defeat them or conquer them. Even though this mentality is very popular with trainers and gyms and slogan writers, it’s almost always going to end in failure. And it’s a dismal way to engage in life.

Exercising and training and movement should be a celebration of your body’s ability to do the amazing things that it is capable of. And if you can’t do all the amazing things you want to do just yet, that’s ok – appreciate what you can do. Enjoy the simple acts of everyday life and learn to develop and love the fine machine that you’ve been gifted with. Develop your possibilities and practice gratitude towards your abilities.

The jogging woman and I live in a beautiful place full of hills and woods and trails. She could have been enjoying a scenic hike that would do much more for her health and appearance than the jogging she was doing. She and her dog would be having a lot more fun too. But somewhere along the way, someone had convinced her that exercise was supposed to be a test of will. And so there she was, painfully hobbling along the road and sucking up exhaust fumes, all in the name of looking and feeling better.

Where ever you start from today, have fun with your training. Enjoy life. Push your limits, but in a fun and positive way. There are plenty of things you need to battle in life, don’t make your body one of them.

Stay Alpha –



Road Trip Inspires a new Soap, and How You Can get Some for Free

A few years ago my brother and I took a motorcycle trip through the mountains, forests, and high desert country of New Mexico. For an entire week we would wake up, pack the bikes(Which didn't take too long, we just had 2 pairs of jeans, a few shirts, and riding gear.) find a diner for some coffee and bacon, and then just ride. When we got hungry and tired we would stop for lunch, and then ride again till we couldn't stay in the saddle any longer. Dinner was a steak and a beer at a roadhouse, or maybe a homemade burrito from a local stand. Every bend in the road revealed another breathtaking landscape.


My brother Mike stretching his legs as we roll down the road

my brother Mike stretching his legs while we roll down the highway


It was a great trip that I'll always remember, and I hope we can go again some day.


While we were riding I kept catching these quick fleeting hints of an amazing scent that I didn't recognize. Eventually it burned itself deep into my memory. I had no idea what it was, but it perfectly captured the essence of the rugged New Mexico mountains. On the last day of the trip we were in a little souvenir stand picking up gifts for the family. While browsing around a back table I stumbled on a homemade box of incense. I had discovered the source of that mysterious scent, New Mexico Pinion Pine. I've saved that little incense box for years, and a few months ago I sent it to my friend Bon, the owner of FightSoap.


Bon has a magical talent with scents, and I wanted to know if he thought he could make it into a soap. If anyone could do it, it would be Bon. He's crafted dozens of unique scents for his line of products. They all get great reviews and his special editions sell out in hours at $7.99 a bar. He's the king of luxury soap for men. It took him a little while, but after some trial and error, I think he's just about nailed it. So I asked him to brew up a small test run of about 100 bars. This first batch has the mystical Pinion Pine scent just right, but it's very subtle. I'm going to see if he can kick it up a notch if we ever run another batch.


I've been sharing a few bars of my stash with family and friends, and adding a bar here and there to the Q5 boxes of big orders or VIP customers. I may commission another run at some point, but I don't know when. And this particular soap will never be available for sale on the website.


Our private stash of Pinion Pine soap crafted by Bon from FightSoap

I've set aside 50 bars for subscribers to our text specials list. If you want to be on the list, just text HOOKMEUP to 207-517-4242, that's it. We send out a discount code or special deal 1x each week that is only available to subscribers. In other words, we're not going to SPAM your phone - you'll get a single message 1x/week.


This weekend, the code will be for a FREE bar of our Pinion Pine soap with orders over $50. It's good for the first 50 orders only, we'll be out of stock after that, so this may be your only chance to score some.


If you like to ride, you need to add New Mexico to your bucket list, amazing country and well worth the trip. I'd love to trade stories with you if you've ever been, so let me know. I'll tell you about the time we almost died trying to outrun a monstourous thunderstorm on the open prairie.


Stay Alpha,




Vanilla Blueberry Pancakes

Kitchen wizardress Kate from the UK's Ippon Gym has been whipping up some amazing goodness with Q5 products again! This time she's used Amass Whey Premium in a super delicious, high protein, low sugar pancake that's quick, simple, and delicious!

Try out the recipe below the picture and let us know how you like it! 

Get a medium mixing bowl and add 2 scoops of Q5 Amass Whey Premium, a teaspoon of hazelnut butter, half a mashed banana, a dash of milk (just enough to make a smooth batter that will pour) and 2 organic eggs.

Whisk everything together till smooth and set aside. Heat a frying pan over medium heat, and add a teaspoon of coconut oil. Pour the batter into the hot skillet with a ladle and watch for the edges to firm up. Then flip, cook for another minute or two, and serve.

You can top with your favorite fruit (Kate used delicious blueberries that are very high in vital antioxidants) or greek yogurt. A great way to start the day!

Is Good Old Fashioned Vitamin D a Gut Buster?

Seems like there is always more good news about Vitamin D. This time it's a study that finds supplementation with Vitamin D combined with resistance training in overweight people led to a smaller waist than a placebo control group. 

The body can make Vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, but during the winter, especially in the northern latitudes it's very unlikely you're getting enough.

Vitamin D is also beneficial for bone health, immune system support, asthma symptoms, and weight loss. You can read the study here - 

Impact of vitamin D supplementation during a resistance training intervention on body composition, muscle function, and glucose tolerance in overweight and obese adults

Coconut Cranberry Chocolate Protein Bites


This amazing treat comes from Kate at Ippon Gym in the UK. Sinfully good!

  • 1/2 cup of Q5 Combat vanilla whey
  • 1/4 cup of desiccated coconut 
  • 1/4 cup of coconut flour (could use ground almonds too)
  • 1/4 cup of coconut milk (preferably organic from a can)
  • 2 teaspoons of almond butter
  • Big handful of cranberries
  • 50g organic dark choco (try and use over 80% or above)

Step 1: Mix the above minus the chocolate, use your hands to make balls of the batter then flatten them out onto a tray. It should be pretty compact. If it's sticky or wet just add a bit more coconut flour to it.

Step 2: Next melt your chocolate in a bain marie (a glass bowl on top of a pot of boiling water). Melt 50g
 of dark chocolate.

Step 3
 Feel free to eat some of the batter at this stage! When the chocolate has melted, dunk your bars in there to coat them. 

Step 4: When coated, transfer them to the fridge - depending on how soon you can resist munching one!

Step 5: Ta daaaaa...! Enjoy the perfect high protein fix post training :)

Exercise Won't Overcome Overeating

We all know it's true, good physiques start in the kitchen, not the gym. (And not the drive-thru either!) But that doesn't stop a lot of self denial and justification. I know I've given into temptation before when the little voice inside my head was telling me "it's alright, we really kicked ass in the gym today!". I'm betting you have too.

Well, the good news is that a few indulgences here and there won't derail the train, your body is a remarkable machine that isn't going to torn apart because you ate a greasy cheeseburger or an ice cream cone. The real damage is done with a slow and steady drip of bad food choices. And according to this new report, it turns out that even a full day of walking, hunting and gathering won't change that.


Hunter-Gatherer Energetics and Human Obesity

Abstract Top

Western lifestyles differ markedly from those of our hunter-gatherer ancestors, and these differences in diet and activity level are often implicated in the global obesity pandemic. However, few physiological data for hunter-gatherer populations are available to test these models of obesity. In this study, we used the doubly-labeled water method to measure total daily energy expenditure (kCal/day) in Hadza hunter-gatherers to test whether foragers expend more energy each day than their Western counterparts. As expected, physical activity level, PAL, was greater among Hadza foragers than among Westerners. Nonetheless, average daily energy expenditure of traditional Hadza foragers was no different than that of Westerners after controlling for body size. The metabolic cost of walking (kcal kg−1 m−1) and resting (kcal kg−1 s−1) were also similar among Hadza and Western groups. The similarity in metabolic rates across a broad range of cultures challenges current models of obesity suggesting that Western lifestyles lead to decreased energy expenditure. We hypothesize that human daily energy expenditure may be an evolved physiological trait largely independent of cultural differences.

Full Report - http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0040503

Pass the Almonds, They Just Got 20% Lighter

almondsIf you love almonds (and you should - they're an amazingly healthy snack!) you can feel good about grabbing a few extra next time you're enjoying them. It turns out that about 20% of the calories stored in almonds can't be metabolized when we eat them because of the physical structure of the cell walls.

The same is true for some other nuts, seeds, and vegetables.
The old school method for determining calories was pretty simple. Put a controlled amount of a food in a chamber, set it on fire, and measure how much heat it put out. After measuring thousands of foods all the data was put into tables. Over a hundred years later, and we still use these same tables today to determine total calories in a food.
So in the lab a handful of almonds might be able to supply around 421 calories. But your body burns food differently and you may only be able to use 336 of the calories in that same handful of nuts.
If you're a food or nutrition geek you can get more details on the study here.
You can also check out the full nutritional profile of almonds here.

Why Are You So Damn Fat?

In all fairness, so am I, although it's better than it used to be. At one point the needle of the scale was flirting dangerously close to the 300LB line. That's too much man to stay among the living for long. It's been almost 5 years and over 70lbs since those amazing heights.

So, how did I get so fat? I'm a sugar addict. Hardcore. I'd make donuts disappear faster than Steve Tyler could snort lines. And once that first insulin spike hits you better just get out of the freakin' way, the binge is on and it's not going to end well for anyone who tries to stop it.

So, it's a daily battle to keep the sugar to a minimum and replace it with healthy foods. It's not that I don't understand the nutrition - I know more than 98% of the population about the intricacies of nutritional biochemistry. But that's the thing about addictions, they don't behave rationally.

So it's no surprise when I see just how much sugar we eat as a nation. Feast your roving eyes on this sweet data, and see if it doesn't help you control the urges just a little bit.

- Bill

Nursing Your Sweet Tooth
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